Health, Philanthropic, and Medical Missionary Work


Health, Philanthropic, and Medical Missionary Work

Relation of Health Institutions to the Cause

My mind is much perplexed, my soul is burdened, because I discern many things which my brethren do not see in regard to the prosperity of our institutions. The medical branch of the work is the most difficult matter now before us. I have received letters from presidents of conferences and from men of property, and have also had interviews with these brethren, in reference to establishing health institutions in different States. I could not encourage this without a careful consideration of the wants of the cause of God in every branch. I have brought before their minds the difficulties that we have had to meet in the institutions already established, the discouragement which came in because there was such a lack of men of piety, of principle, of unswerving integrity, of well-balanced minds, of unselfish interests—men who were wholly consecrated to God. Men of this character are the only ones who should have a controlling power in our institutions. PH066 3.1

I have been shown that the matter of establishing and conducting additional health institutions should come under the supervision of the General Conference. Such institutions should be established only when, after careful and prayerful consultation, it is decided to be essential for the advancement of the work of Bible hygiene and temperance, for the good of suffering humanity. PH066 3.2

The establishment of a health institution is too important a matter to be left to the independent management of a few interested individuals. If the enterprise is under the control of the General Conference, the way is open for deliberate counsel and a careful consideration of the matter and its relation to the great whole; and if it is undertaken, there will be a united force to give it influence and standing. This will contribute largely to its success. Under such management, a class of workers could be enlisted that otherwise could not be secured, and thus the enterprise would prosper when it would prove a failure in ordinary hands. And furthermore, there must be an authority to guard such institutions, so that persons who are not qualified shall not be allowed to grasp responsibilities through selfish ambition in their professional line as physicians. PH066 4.1

The Christian physician can not maintain a supreme regard for his own individuality, acting in his profession without reference to his fellow physicians, and indifferent or careless in regard to his accountability to God, or the relation he sustains to the cause at large. He should not enter upon important enterprises, such as the establishment of a sanitarium, upon his own independent judgment, pleading his desire to serve the cause of God, but in his works serving himself. PH066 4.2

The physicians employed in our institutions should have a sacred regard for honor and loyalty. If they fail to walk uprightly and unselfishly; if they do not honor the principles that should control the followers of Christ in any and every branch of the work, then let the church take action in their case. Let the Bible rule be followed, just as the Master has taught. Be the physician great or small, if he refuses to submit to church discipline, after suitable time has been given for patient labor according to Christ's direction, he should be separated from the church as unworthy of its fellowship. The fact that the physician occupies a position of influence is the very reason why, in the case of any unchristian practise on his part, there should be careful investigation by judicious persons. Let our health institutions be purged of every evil, that the blessing of God may rest upon these his instrumentalities. PH066 4.3

Written in 1890.

[Since the above was written, the health, philanthropic, and medical missionary work has been organized by the creation of the International Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association, which has a supervision of the work.] PH066 5.1


It is as much required of God that his followers who are in the medical profession shall reveal the spirit of Christ in harmonizing their work as that the ministers of the gospel shall harmonize in their labors for the salvation of souls. This independence to do every man as seemeth good in his own eyes is after the satanic order, but not after Christ. One sets himself up in a certain place and begins to practise; another does the same in another place; and there is no more unity one with the other than between the strands of ropes of straw. This thing I have been shown is a disgrace to Seventh-day Adventists and a dishonor to the cause of God. PH066 5.2

There is need that men and women shall go forth in various places and act as missionaries in the capacity of Christian physicians, but they should be under the direction of the Conference. PH066 5.3



Every institution that bears the Seventh-day Adventist name is to be to the world as Joseph was in Egypt and as Daniel and his fellows were in Babylon. PH066 6.1